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The Official Blog of Episcopal Retirement Services

Don’t Get Senior Healthcare? We've Got You Covered.

Oct 14, 2013 1:06:00 PM

Confused senior couple

Douglas Spitler, our President and CEO, has been has been a driving force for change here at ERH since he first joined our community as the Executive Director of Whetsone Care Center in Columbus more than twenty years ago.

His experience in senior living has given him great insight into the senior healthcare industry, and he’s been able to share with us his understanding of the challenges and opportunities that the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) will bring.

One of the first changes we’ll see in health services will come in how senior care providers are reimbursed for the healthcare they provide.

In the past, healthcare has typically been provided on a “fee-for-service” model where older adults (and all other healthcare consumers) paid for any service or treatment rendered— regardless of quality and effectiveness.

The changes to the healthcare landscape will bring a transition to value-based payments. Providers will be forced to step up the quality of their senior care as remittance of payment will now hinge on the outcomes of patient care. Basically, senior healthcare providers will be paid more if their treatments prove to be effective for their patients and less if they don’t work.

We’ll also be seeing changes in how that senior care is provided.

Payment incentives will break down the provider-centered blocs of doctors, hospitals, or in-home caregivers. Healthcare will, instead, turn to a more collaborative person-centered care model where all of the different types of providers will be freer in sharing information in order to provide the best possible care.

Hospitals and other senior healthcare providers will feel the weight of responsibility for patient outcomes, and focus more on partnering with agencies and organizations that provide post-operative and rehabilitation care.

At ERH, we’re staying ahead of the changes.

You won’t find us floundering when the PPACA goes into full effect.

We see all of the ways that senior care will be affected by the changes in how healthcare is organized and delivered, and we understand all of the responsibilities and opportunities that healthcare reform presents.

In fact, you could say that we’re even looking forward to a brand of senior healthcare that falls in line with our commitment to person-center senior living.

Here’s the changes to senior healthcare that we expect to see come out of the PPACA:

  • All providers will have a stake in delivering quality outcomes that promise to deliver more preventative care.
  • The cost of senior healthcare will actually decrease as better quality care ensures that patients stay healthier.
  • There will be less duplication in the system as providers start working together and communicating more, so we’ll see fewer readmissions rates to hospitals.

We’re starting to make our own changes, too, to do our part to help older adults deal with the escalating cost of senior healthcare and find better ways to receive better care.

We have vice presidents Laura Lamb and Kathy Ison as well as a board committee that have worked on the project, and here’s a look at the tangible changes we’ve been making:

  1. We’re phasing in a new level of care management into the ERH system, adding care managers who will coordinate the after care of patients as they leave the hospital and later the walls of our communities to ensure that their recovery stays on track.
  2. We’ve been gradually adding highly qualified nurse practitioners and physician assistants to our senior care teams in order to provide quality care without an exorbitant cost.
  3. We’re adding even better preventative care options to strengthen our current wellness programs for both our residents and our staff.

We’re always challenging ourselves to provide that next level of care, here at ERH. It’s our goal to be the premier provider of post-acute care in Cincinnati—and all of southern Ohio—so we’ve begun to position our services and communities as leaders. 

Image credit: paulmichaelhughes / 123RF Stock Photo
Bryan Reynolds

Written by: Bryan Reynolds

Bryan Reynolds is the Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations for Episcopal Retirement Services (ERS). Bryan is responsible for developing and implementing ERS' digital marketing strategy, and overseeing the website, social media outlets, audio and video content and online advertising. After originally attending The Ohio State University, he graduated from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, where he earned a Bachelor of fine arts focused on electronic media. Bryan loves to share his passion for technology by assisting older adults with their computer and mobile devices. He has taught several classes within ERS communities as well as at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute run by the University of Cincinnati. He also participates on the Technology Team at ERS to help provide direction. Bryan and his wife Krista currently reside in Lebanon, Ohio with their 5 children.

Topics: senior healthcare, affordable care act, senior health programs, senior living

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